Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Working For a Living (or Un-Living)

Posted by Christina Harlin

Wow! You can almost hear the crickets chirping lately here at the Casablanca blog, and that’s because so many of our talented writers are at the RWA convention. Personally I’m so much happier here baking in the Midwest and going to work every day . . . wait a minute, no I’m not! Nine-to-five work is tough! My fantasy of being a full-time writer hasn’t yet come true, and so I’m still out there earning a paycheck.

Segue. Speaking of earning a paycheck, I spent a some time recently contemplating the jobs available to the modern romantic hero. We readers want our hero to have a job that oozes masculinity and hopefully lots of money (though this is no longer a must), that involves his brains, brawn, bravery (hopefully a combination of all three), and that holds a sexy bit of risk. This puzzle gets more complex if your romantic hero is a vampire, because the job market for the undead is really glutted right now and prejudice is rampant. But for the most part, employing the romantic hero is a fun occupation all by itself. My preference is for astronauts.

Following is a list of rather iffy jobs for romantic heroes:

1. Competitive eater
2. Odor tester
3. Assistant night manager at convenience store—expecting promotion real soon!
4. Crime scene cleaner
5. Roadkill remover
6. Peepshow janitor
7. Professional medical test subject
8. Unemployed—shoots rats in for fun
9. Gravedigger . . . but not for a cemetery
10. Chick sexer

Chick sexer is not as hot as it sounds. These workers endeavor to determine the gender of hatched chicks. I figure that each time, it’s a fifty-fifty shot.

We Casablanca writers pride ourselves on being rule-breakers, so I guess it’s not impossible that we could take any of the above-listed careers and make it plausible for a romantic hero. He could always turn out to be an undercover op, only pretending to be a professional medical test subject, but no. That’s cheating. However, I just noticed that most of them would be good job options for vampires—who, as I’ve said, are having trouble finding work these days. Just try it! Put “vampire” in front of any of them, and there you go!

Well, that’s employment philosophy for today. Next time I think I’d better get Eustacia’s Romance Corner back. Her letters are piling up.


  1. Witty, witty, Christina.

    I don't do vampires so I didn't realize they needed occupations. They don't have to buy groceries and rent is pretty much taken care of. They're limited in how far they can travel.

    That being the case, they can get by on far less than you and I.

    Now that I think about it though, employment would be a problem, and the vampire demographic has been ignored by many public assistance programs.

  2. The trouble is that those public assistance offices are only open during the day! Personally, I think a nighttime road-kill remover would be an excellent vampire job. Even if he were to be hit by a car himself, he wouldn't die!

  3. Hope we can catch you at Nationals next time, Christine. I would think Vampires would be in high demand given their preference for night work. What about male escort. (waggles brows) You could sick 'em on the ladies we love to hate.

    Work is never a problem for my guys, or at least most of them. As members of the English nobility, they are weighed down with responsibilities at their million dollar estates and the need to gamble in hells in London.

    Occasionally, like Lucas in No Regrets, they have a project. Lucas is putting together a school for street musicians. In The Lady Flees Her Lord Hugo was a soldier before he came back to his estate.

    Many of the other jobs in Regency England were just as yuch as your list:
    Stable hand = horse pooh cleaner
    Street sweeper = horse pooh cleaner
    Osler = horse pooh paddler.....

  4. Interesting, Christina. I never imagined vampires would be so difficult to employ!

    Loved the horse poop jobs, Michele!

  5. LOL Christina!

    Roadkill remover and peep show janitor do sound ideal for vamps. Not sure about the sexy factor, but since most paranormal romance vamps have sex-appeal to spare, I suppose they really don't have to worry.

    Michele, great reminder that though it sounds highly romantic to live in the days before internal combustion engines, those noble steeds did have some definite drawbacks! Horse poop here, horse poop there, everywhere horse poop...

    humming the tune to Old MacDonald

  6. Hi, MM! You are right that vampires do not really need jobs. I just think they should have them because no woman likes a man who does nothing but eat and sleep. Besides, they are such snappy dressers, I thought they must have some source of income!

  7. Hi Cheryl! Good point on the safety issue! And you're right, discrimination against those with sun allergies is a serious problem.


  8. Hi, Michele. In researching some modern "bad" jobs I found a website that talked about bad jobs during nearly every historic era. A surprising, or not, number of them did have to do with horse poop.

  9. Howdy Marie! Yes, I think it's very hard for vamps to find work, which is why they are so often entrepreneurs. Remember I said I liked astronauts? Imagine how hard that would be for a vamp! Dark side of the moon only!

  10. Hello Cindy! Vampires make any job cool, I agree. I think it's because they're technically dead. They don't have the mindset of "Oh my god, I'll be working at this job until I die." Problem solved!

  11. Hey Christina!
    This post reminded me of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel.
    Hilarious as usual!


  12. Hey Danielle! I love that show! What nasty things people have to do to make a living . . . I wonder if any of them are vampires . . .

  13. I am also from the midwest and yes, it is hot. Speaking of romantic heros, I am so glad that the last few I have known were self employed, running successful and very necessary businesses. But I was wondering...if a romance hero disguised himself as a wretched, ugly gravedigger only to be able to inflitrate the dregs of society to solve the mystery of what happened to his brother (or father), does that count?